Pakistan is in ‘constant touch’ with the Afghan Taliban for safeguarding the country’s security interests, a top military official has said.
Military spokesman Maj Gen Babar Iftikhar said the Taliban have reiterated on several occasions that no group or terrorist organisation will be allowed to use Afghan territory for any terrorist activity against any country, including Pakistan.
“Taliban have reiterated on several occasions that no group or terrorist organisation will be allowed to use Afghan territory for any terrorist activity against any country, including Pakistan. We have no reason to doubt their intentions, and that is why we are in constant touch with them to protect our national interest,” he told Urdu News.
The Dawn newspaper reported that one of the country’s major concerns has been the presence of the banned Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan terrorist group in Afghanistan.
There have also been discussions between the Pakistani authorities and the Afghan Taliban about new border control measures to prevent undesired elements from crossing the border into Pakistan, the report said.
There has been a significant uptick in TTP attacks since the Taliban takeover of Afghanistan. However, Pakistani authorities are not ready to blame the Afghan Taliban for that and often say it is too early to expect them to establish their writ in the bordering areas and be in full control of the situation, it said.
Gen Iftikhar underscored the progress being made in fencing the 2,600-km-long border with Afghanistan.
“Our goal has always been better management on this side of the border. Fencing the Pakistan-Afghan border was a major responsibility due to the region’s terrain and other difficulties. Despite all the difficulties, Pakistan has completed the fencing work on 90 per cent of the border. Border management is constantly improving and we are hopeful that it will be fully secured in the near future,” he said.
The Taliban swept across the country last month, seizing control of almost all key towns and cities in the backdrop of withdrawal of the US forces that began on May 1. On August 15, the capital city of Kabul fell to the insurgents.
The Taliban claimed victory over opposition forces in the last holdout province of Panjshir on September 6, completing their takeover of Afghanistan three weeks after capturing Kabul.
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